March 6, 2021


The Trump Administration was not very tough on Russia, but President Joe Biden is tightening his Russian regulations. On Tuesday, the White House announced new rules that are focused on seven Russian officials.

These sanctions were put in place because of Russia’s alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Navalny is an oppositional leader that has tried to displace Putin from power in Russia.

The News from Washington

Senior officials in the Biden Administration announced Tuesday that they were tightening their stance on Russia with new regulations. They announced this information in a conference call to the press, with the Biden Administration targeting 14 people.

Nine Russian leaders and three Russian government research institutes were included in the announcement, along with three Germans and one Swiss official.

These parties are believed to be involved in the creation of deadly chemical and biological substances. This information was discovered following Navalny’s poisoning. The Russian officials on Biden’s list are Aleksandr Bortinkov, Alexander Kalashnikov, Sergey Kiriyenko, Igor Krasnov, Aleksey Krivoruchko, Pavel Popov, and Andrei Yarin.

These individuals span multiple Russian departments, including the military, defense department, the Federal Security Service, and Vladimir Putin’s staff.

The Rationale Behind the Decision

On the conference call, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the administration decided “to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights have severe consequences. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms.”

The United States worked with the European Union to create the Russia regulations. The European Union announced its sanctions against Russia on Tuesday as well. This targeted officials in the Russian government who are believed to have played a role in the Navalny poisoning.

Earlier sanctions were imposed in October.

Russia’s Response

The Navalny poisoning caused riots throughout Russia and upheaval around the world. Russian leaders have stated that they did not have anything to do with the assassination attempt. However, science has shown that this is most likely false.

Navalny was in a coma following the assassination attempt. He recovered in Germany, where medical professionals and scientists ran tests to determine what nearly caused Navalny’s death.

The chemical substance was revealed as Novichok, a poison used by the country in the Soviet era. It’s doubtful that anyone outside of the government has access to this poison.

The Biden Administration officials discussed this point and stated that the Russians used Novichok in the 2018 assassination attempt of Sergei Skripal.

Navalny was arrested when he arrived back in Russia following his recovery. The Putin regime has been uncooperative with foreign countries, including the United States, regarding Navalny. Foreign leaders told Putin that he should not arrest Navalny once he reentered the country.

Navalny is still a direct threat to Putin, so he decided to oppose foreign leaders’ wishes. This is allegedly the first destabilizing action in a series of regulations coming in the near future.

People in the United States are not allowed to make business deals with the sanctioned Russian leaders. This is not a massive blow to the Russian leaders because they do not directly deal with the United States in many ways.

The Biden Administration’s announcement was meant to show that the United States is not giving Russia much leniency.

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